from the museum director
guidance in building
the fifteen-year war
modern warfare
The Two World Wars and Subsequent Efforts to Prevent War
The Cold War and Postwar Independence of Former Colonies
Post Cold War Conflicts
Weapons Development
Contemporary Regional Conflicts
buiding peace
getting to the kyoto museum for world peace
Weapons Development

The modern era has seen science and technology used for large-scale destruction, with increasingly deadly weapons developed and used in actual battles, starting with tanks, bombers, and poison gases(chemical weapons)in World War I, and moving on to biological weapons in the 1930s and nuclear weapons in World War II. During the Cold War, the U.S. and the Soviet Union entered an arms race and deployed massive quantities of nuclear weapons under the theory of "deterrence"-the notion that fear of mutual annihilation would prevent war. After the great losses it suffered in the Vietnam War,America has been pursuing the development of easy-to-use miniature nuclear arms and other hi-tech weapons to minimize American casualties. Today, military satellites and information technology are being used to make weapons increasingly accurate and powerful, with America maintaining an overwhelming lead in improving and deploying advanced weaponry.


The items look like harmless metal pineapples, but they are actually what are known as cluster bombs. Packed inside the larger bomb—called a "parent bomb" in Japanese—are 250 to 360 bomblets in the shape of steel balls which are spewed out in all directions when the cluster bomb explodes, raining death or injury on anyone within an area 250 meters wide and 50 meters long. Cluster bombs like these have been employed in recent wars in the Middle East. (Donated by Yasushi Ishijima and the Japan Section 2 Basement Display Area Scientists' Association)